Tuition -- in the form of tax dollars.
Additional fees for extra curricular programs.
Dues for PTA, and other organizations
Fund raisers, and so on; add up the $ amount each year.
From the same ppl who maintain that homeschoolers don't get any socialization and that a 'classroom setting' is the best place for every child to be taught. ;-)
OK seriously - no doubt the people who maintain that public schools are 'free' are the same ones who think that libraries, zoos, city services (such as firestations), and parks are free as well. They really don't take into consideration where their tax dollars (income, property, and sales) are going to. If it were a bill they had to pay monthly they'd probably pay more attention.
The same goes for everything else you mention (fees, supplies, etc). Its trickling out so they're less likely to pay attention to the total cost. If they were presented at the beginning of each school year with a $500 bill for all of the above (a very modest estimate) they'd probably think again.
Its a little sad if you think about it, that some people have no idea what services that extra money that came out of their check (the taxes) supports. (And additionally, are not keeping up with all those monthly out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the school year.) But to stick with answering your question, I think some one would say a public school is 'free' because they aren't really paying attention to where their money is going.
I don't know anyone that believes that Public Schools are free. Perhaps renters who don't pay property taxes may have a belief that Public Schools are free. Of course, all of the people I know who are renters know that Public Schools cost money. All of the parents I know who have children in either public or private schools know and accept the costs of educating our children.
I would suggest that your question is really some sort of editorial comment...and, a rather weak comment.
Nobody I know believes that schools are free. Most people are aware that schools are not fully funded. Your question is a straw man. I don't know where you ever got the perception that school is free; I suggest you ask this question of whoever told you that.
Are you aware that the average teacher contributes $300 per year of his/her own money to buy supplies?
I don't know. It's beyond me.
It's like people down in the States thinking that health care up in Canada is "free". It's not!
I guess if you want to call it "free"-you can forget all the tax dollars you pore into the system, all the fees for just about everything, all the fund raising that is required, all the misc junk and nonsense that comes out of your pocket. To go along with the "free", you can add: "they'll teach the children" and forget about all the hours of homework, reports, facts that have to be learned at home, all the days the parents are to be in the classroom to help AND the money dished out for summer school and Sylvan Learning to augment this "free" education you are getting. I knew a mother who spent $1,200 a month to send her child to a status private school and then she had to contract the math portion out to Sylvan Learning. She couldn't help her own child because she was to busy working a job to pay for the first school. Other moms had to be at the school once a week to help out with reading etc. So is it a shock that homeschool is a viable alternative?
Even if you homeschool, you still have to pay your taxes. You would still have to buy school supplies if you homeschool your children, but many supplies such as textbooks are supplied free of charge on a temporary basis from a public school, but you would have to purchase it if homeschooling. You still have to feed your child if you homeschool, but if you go to public school, and that much money really is a problem, you can apply for free lunch. Can't do that at homeschool! Extra-curricular programs are optional, and not many of them really have fees. Booster clubs are something you made up or something not very common, because I have never heard of them and I've gone to public school my entire life. PTA is, again, optional, and I have never heard of PTA dues. Fundraisers are, again, optional.
Free? Maybe not completely. Cheaper than any other option? I think so.
Grow a brain.
School isn't free, but if you homeschool, you may find yourself paying for text books or other curriculum that you won't find yourself paying for through a public school. The quesiton is, does that really make a significant difference? Some schools have an ASB system that's almost $100...then a year book, dance fees, sport fees, etc...it can add up.
My wife used a combination of library resources along with our own purchases, and some loaners from our local school district. probably not nearly as much as all the other stuff per year. But, if you buy a full curriculum, that can cost a lot of money, and probably a lot more than you would otherwise spend in a school. Some schools are now paying for that private curriculum, which makes it cheaper, but then the school has control of the educational experience.
The original intent of the public schools was a "free" education for all citizens paid for through the property taxes of all landowners. Most people don't consider the cost through taxation, because most don't pay their taxes directly (if they rent, it's part of their rent; if they "own", it's rolled up in their mortgage payment via escrow).
When I was in school (I'm probably dating myself), we didn't have all the additional fundraisers they have now. If I wanted to go on a "team" trip, I had to come up with the money myself (through babysitting, etc.). We might have a car wash, but only for a large group, like the band. We also didn't have prescribed supply lists created by the school system (and supported, I'm sure, by Crayola and the like).
Ah, back in the day...
Going beyond your point, sometimes we pay for things in other ways, not just monetary sacrifices. Public school costs more than homeschooling, I do not have to get a counselor for my daughter who may have been ridiculed and tormented by her peers because she was not having sex with the cute guys in highschool. I do not have to talk to my children about what curse words mean and why we do not say them and why some other children are allowed to say them and why they chose to say them to my child. I do not have to explain why my daughter cannot have the new and latest fashionable lowcut shirt/highcut skirt since we cannot afford extremely expensive clothing on a whim. I do not have to wonder if my child is eating lunch or tossing my money in the trash every day because they want to feed her tuna salad simply because it is healthy. I do not have to worry about the safety of my children while on a bus, in the classroom with a stranger, or on the playground, they are with me and I really care about their whereabouts, not just the reprecussions of loosing my job if I lost a child that was not mine. I do not have to wonder what they are being taught and if they are being challenged and if I might have to hire a tutor to help my child who may be failing because they have been shoved to the back of the classroom and forgotten simply because there is just too many children and different learning levels for the teacher to take time to help my child. I do not have to have the sex talk with my daughter by the 5th grade in fear of what she will learn in class from her peers. I do not have to worry about lost, stolen or misplaced homework assignments that might not make it to class because some child stole it to claim as their own or copy it, and my child getting their recess taken away because they did not have their homework. I also do not have to worry about other children having access to my childs supplies and having to replace them every other week, because there are only a few parents that are requested to bring in more items simply because the teacher knows they will bring in the items and other parents could not care less if their child has supplies or not.
Anyone who says this stuff does not happen is terribly mistaken. I lived in a reputable city, not an inner city or big city and I experienced these things first hand all from Kindergarten-2nd grade. Now, the price I pay for curriculum-that will be used to the best of it's and my ability, is more than worth the cost of the things I will not be having to pay for!
I truly don't get your question.
If you homeschool you ARE paying TWICE. That's a fact.
Until they give you an INCOME TAX or PROPERTY TAX exemption or a VOUCHER that helps pay your taxes.
The things is, if the PUBLIC SHOOL it totally lame, then the expensive of homeschooling is NULL because you love your child and want the best for them, not just FREE mediocre!
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